No raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but today I am going to show you a few of my favorite things for your home office. Watch this video and remember these favorite things and then organizing won’t feel so bad.
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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about the top must-have organizing products for your home office. This is Part One. There were so many favorite products that I wanted to talk with you about that I needed to split this into two pieces, because it was going to be really long. So today we’re going to focus mainly on things that are relevant to paper management. And then in Part Two, we’ll cover other parts of the home office.
So right now, I’ll start with my favorite little brown accordion folder. This is a January – December accordion file. What I like about it is that there is no flap on this. I do that on purpose because I don’t want to mess with a flap every single time I’m trying to put something in or take something out, and it makes it very accessible and easy. This is for filing away bills and statements, financial things. Most people have an electronic way that they have indexed their expenses nowadays in some way. So usually, it’s your on-line banking or it’s Mint.com, or it’s Quicken, or some other way that you already have a list somewhere of what you’ve spent. You can search that, find out what you spent and when, and then file it here and go get the paper from here. So what sometimes people want to do with bills is they want to file it by the vendor. So a file for the electric company, a file for the cable company, and so on. That’s so much harder to parse out and do every month when those bills come through. So if you just have January – December and just plop all the bills for that month in there, it’s much easier on you, then you just tie a bow around it at the end of the year and you’re done, and you just start a new one fresh. So that’s a big favorite for me.
The next one is the Avery 11136 Work Saver Tab Inserts. These are for hanging file folders where you want to make labels for the little plastic tabs that are in the top of the folder. This is a way for you to print those in your printer. These are not usually sold on the shelf in an office supply store. You probably are going to have to order these on-line, but they’re like two dollars. This will save you a ton of time and make your files look neater so they won’t be handwritten also.
The next thing I want to talk about has to do with files as well. There are special folders called box bottom folders. They have an insert in the bottom of the folder that reinforces it and makes the stack of papers that – you know, you might have large amounts of paper that you’re trying to save in one file folder – it makes those stacks of papers sit down better into the row of file folders, and it doesn’t kind of mess up the flow. You can see this in the picture, it makes total sense. Most people don’t know those exist and you can get some and have a much neater file cabinet.
The next thing is the Pendaflex Cascading Mobile File. This is fantastic for people who are on the move, who travel a lot, who are in their cars a lot with their work. You can carry forms around, or your current projects, and it folds up easily. You can fit it in a briefcase or something. And then, as you can see in the picture, it’s very well designed. You open it, it cascades down, and you have complete visibility to all of the files in the little mobile file, and they’re color-coded, and you can see them all hanging up on the wall and reach them easily.
Another thing I like for active papers are these plastic sleeves. I use these every single day. They are great, especially for traveling. They are closed on two edges instead of – most folders are closed on one edge and they just open up – this doesn’t allow things to fall out quite so easily. And then, of course, the top of it is clear so you can see what’s in the folder. Then this is an extended edge version, and I’ve got the product name and number on the screen for you here. I use my own label maker to make a label on that extended edge, and then I can peel that off and re-use these constantly. So a fantastic tool for papers.
Another thing for active papers is paper trays. Now, everybody knows paper trays. I use them constantly for managing projects, managing active papers, but there are some things that people don’t know about buying these. I run into this all the time, so I have donated many of these from clients that made bad purchases. There are some of these that are called side-loading, which is what you see here. So on the long side of the paper they’re open here for you to reach in and get what’s stacked inside. There are other paper trays still that are front-loading, and they are open on the short side of the paper, and that is much less visible. I much prefer to buy the side-loading paper trays.
The other thing people don’t think about with paper trays is that some of them – particularly the beautifully designed ones that are in specialty stores – unfortunately they are too short. They’re this tall, and then when they stack, you can barely see the papers and you certainly don’t feel like you want to stick your hand in there, and it may not even fit when you have papers inside there. So, get ones that are taller like these and then you can stick your hand in and reach what you need. It may not look as pretty as some of the ones you might want to buy, but keep that in mind when you’re making your purchase.
Okay. The next thing I want to talk about is – oh, it’s on the paper tray, I almost forgot. So binder clips. So here we are, we have a binder clip. Obviously, we can use these to bind together a large stack of paper, and that’s great. There are a lot of ways to use these. I made a whole video about this. One of them you can see right here on my paper trays. You can put a label on the back of this binder clip and then clip it onto something that’s very hard to label, which is the edge of a lot of things actually. So clip it right on there. Then you’re all done and it looks like you totally meant to do that.
Another way to manage active papers is with these project cases. So these cases open up, and you can fit large amounts of paper. You can also fit in here objects, like if you are remodeling and you have product samples of tile or something, you can just throw that in here, close that up, latch it, carry it along with you, and then you can even have a whole row of these on a shelf where you’ve labeled the side and it looks like books on a shelf and these are all your active things and you can just grab one and go. So these are a fantastic tool. This one I think is made by a company called Iris. So you can look for that on- line.
Then, we have the famous step sorter. I love these. They are graduated in height on the side, just like stadium seating in a theater, and you can take your active papers and your projects, and then you can take a folder and put that in here. And then when you add the next folder it’s going to be up a little bit higher and you can read all of the labels very easily and you have great visibility, great accessibility to your stuff right on top of your desk or credenza.
The last thing I want to talk about is a magazine file. Not just for magazines. Now I have some in here, these are some press clippings here, in our office, but you can put booklets and other kinds of papers in here and have them up vertically very similar to the project cases. You can have them up vertically on a shelf, have better visibility, some people prefer that to having things in a file drawer where they can’t see them as well. So you can obviously label the side of that and you can keep whatever you like in these. Don’t limit it to just the magazines.
If you like this, we’ve got way more coming to you for Part Two. So be sure to come back and check that out. And if you need some help figuring out your home office, you can get help from our Team unlimited with personal advice on your questions and projects. You can find out more about that at clutterdiet.com/learnmore.
See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.
You may have been searching for how to get paper clutter under control or best methods for organizing papers.
I tried to follow your ideas about 4 or 5 years ago – but I always fell short of time or energy … I am now committed to getting my home cleaned up for Christmas … and yesterday I saw your message in my e-mails – I don’t remember having seen your messages recently – maybe I just ignored them. I read it – it’s about Thanksgiving, which has passed us in Canada – but the ideas are still relevant for Christmas. I am expecting to have three grandchildren, two aged 4, and one 2 year old., and their two sets of parents, as well as a couple of non-married adult sons, and maybe a married daughter .
I am planning to start today :), some staying here, others just for Dinner. Thanks for your site.
Thank you, Joanne! I am so happy that holiday video is relevant for you. We have more of them! 😉 You can join us right now for free- no credit card- no strings and see all of our videos and read all of our articles, plus get some other goodies. Try us out at https://www.clutterdiet.com/free-registration-for-clutter-diet-lite/. Have a great day!!